- Most people can't tell the difference between bottled water and tap water in blind taste tests.
- In 2004, Americans drank on average 24 gallons of bottled water
- This year, Americans will spend $9.8 billion on bottled water.
- Ounce for ounce, bottle water costs more than gasoline. It costs 250- to 10,000 times more than tap water.
- There is no health or nutritional benefit to drinking bottled water: in fact bottled water can have higher levels of bacteria than tap water, and it isn't subject to as much regulation and monitoring.
- If you are trying to avoid chemicals that can be present in tap water, you're out of luck: they are in some bottled water anyway, and also, unless you are wearning a gas mask while showering and unloading your dish washer, you're being exposed to those chemicals anyway.
- Bottled water is bad for the environment, due to shipping, refrigeration and bottles going into landfills.
- More than 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, leading to illness and a lack of productivity and a dependence on foreign aid in many parts of the developing world
- Clean water could be provided to everyone on earth for an outlay of $1.7 billion a year beyond current spending on water projects.
The author of this article wrote a book that has been on my list of things to read someday: A History of the World in Six Glasses, by Tom Standage. It talks about the role that these six drinks have played in world history: beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola drinks.